COPELAND residents can now view and comment on planning applications online.
Copeland Council has introduced an online tool to allow visitors to its website to view all documentation submitted with a planning application, including plans and supporting documents.
Residents also have the option to comment on an application, and all representations made go to the council’s planners for consideration as part of the decision-making process.
The council will continue to consult widely on planning applications in accordance with current legislation and guidance and the option to write or email with their feedback – or to address the decision-makers directly - is still available for interested parties. A list of all applications received is published weekly on the council’s website and in the local press where required.
Nick Hayhurst, Copeland Council’s Planning and Place Manager, said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer an online facility to allow the public to engage fully in the planning process.
“The planning process is open and transparent, and interested parties have the option to input into this process if they wish."
Depending on the nature of a planning application, the decision is made by council’s Planning department or the 11 councillors that make up the Planning Panel. The Planning department has authority delegated to it to decide on domestic, smaller scale developments and proposals that are in compliance with the adopted Copeland Local Plan (around 98 per cent of all applications received), while all major and high-profile applications are debated and decided on by councillors at their monthly meetings.
Planning meetings now take place virtually, and members of the public have the opportunity to address the panel to support or oppose an application remotely, or view the proceedings online as a live broadcast.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: "The availability of planning documents online strengthens our service to our community, and gives interested parties an additional way in which to engage with the process.
“It is part of a range of recent improvements we have made to all sections of our website, including Planning, in which members of the community can carry out tasks electronically, or find information about our services.”
To view and comment on planning applications, and to view weekly lists of applications received and determined, the public can visit www.copeland.gov.uk/view-and-comment-planning-applications